Fifty-nine (59) Florida Highway Patrol troopers and two (2) Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Compliance officers graduated from the FHP Training Academy on Friday, August 17, 2001. This training class was the 99th Basic Recruit Class, which began on February 26, 2001. Colonel Christopher A. Knight, Director of the FHP assigned the new troopers to vacancies from Pensacola to the Florida Keys.
The recruits have been looking forward to graduation day for the past 26 weeks. Each recruit endured long days at the training academy which consisted of physical fitness training, defensive tactics, pursuit driving, criminal and traffic law classes as well as memorizing Florida's 67 counties and their county seats.
After the ceremonies, class president and triplet George Smyrnios was joined on stage by his brothers Gus Jr. and Manny, along with their father, Gus Sr. Two of the triplets are stationed in Ft. Myers, while the third triplet is stationed in Lakeland and father Gus, is stationed in Steinhatchee.